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Video evidence for Italian student murdered in Egypt 'overwritten, useless'

Image of the candlelight procession for Italian student Giulio Regeni in Rome, Italy [Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu]
Candlelight procession for Italian student Giulio Regeni who was murdered in Egypt [Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency]

Surveillance footage handed over to Rome by Egyptian authorities for an investigation into the torture murder of an Italian researcher in Cairo contains “overwritten and unclear material”.

Egyptian judicial sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Saturday that the CCTV footage from the Cairo metro station near where Giulio Regeni disappeared in 2016 was essentially useless.

“Cairo first contracted a German company to retrieve the lost data. Then it contracted a Russia company which was able to recover only 1.5 gigabytes of data,” the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

“[The recovered data] contains technical gaps in the form of eroded and unclear material,” he added.

The New York Times also reported on Friday that just five percent of the footage from the day Regeni disappeared remain.

Last week, Egypt ordered authorities to hand over the recorded surveillance footage to Italy more than two years after the killing.

Regeni, a PhD student, went missing in the Egyptian capital on 25 January 2015 – the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising. It is understood that Regeni was arrested while taking the Cairo metro.

His body was later found baring torture marks synonymous with practices employed by the Egyptian secret police, who are known to surveil and kidnap dissidents and political opponents, including students.

He had been doing postgraduate research on Egyptian trade unions.

Since the start of the investigation, Egypt has faced accusations that a member of its security services committed the murder, but Cairo has denied the claims.

His death sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, however, bilateral relations have since improved.

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